Wednesday, 31 August 2011

my creative space - crochet experiments

My creative space today comprises entirely of me trying to 'clear the decks' for Little S's birthday party on Saturday - it seems to becoming a ritual for completely gutting out his bedroom, and getting the rest of the house presentable for a little celebratory party. Don't get me wrong - a bunch of 10 year old boys probably wouldn't turn a blind eye to the state of my housekeeping, but their parents might, hehe! - so needs must, *sigh* - bang goes any crafty plans for today ... Here's some picks instead of my crochet experiments at the weekend . . .

. . . my pride and joy - a little 'forget me not' flower - the stem went a bit wonky, but it still looks a little 'stem-like' :) I had such a ball trying out the patterns for various flower designs from my crochet book - learning the stitches as I went along - invaluable learning process, I loved every minute of it! Here's some more . . .

I'm using two crochet pattern books: 100 flowers to knit and sew and 201 crochet motifs, blocks, etc. (I spied the second one on Claire's lovely blog - thanks Claire!!) - in tandem with my 'how to crochet books' - 'Learn to Crochet' and 'Crochet Unravelled'. I've been using internet/blog resources too, which have been invaluable. I learned how to make a 'slip-ring' from this excellent tutorial, as I couldn't get the hang of it from any of my books!

My Crochet Motif book is inspiring me to make blocks, for example, using the flower in the centre of my granny square, I added a border in the same colour . . .

. . . having a little fun with some 'flower-arranging' onto one of my 'tweedie' zipper pouches . . .

. . . another project idea from my crochet books was making greetings card with flowers, kinda neat! . . .

OK, you get the gist, I'm hooked!! I'd love to continue the experiments today, but I'd better get the living room and the kitchen sorted for Saturday's guests, those 10 year olds are getting very discerning these days, hehe :D

More crafty spaces over here - See Ya! :D

P.S. Just remember - US terminology and UK terminology crochet instructions are different!! Double crochet (US) is triple crochet (UK) - sneaky little devils, hehe! :D

Monday, 29 August 2011

Artist inspired . . .

I'm packing up an order this morning, and was wanting to add a wee something extra (you know the way you do!). I decided to make one of my little 'tweedie' gift tags but couldn't decide how to decorate it - I didn't want to take the sewing machine out, Hey it IS Monday morning after all, hehe! Here is what I came up with . . .

. . . perhaps a little Mondrian inspiration going on here, well just a very little!

I'll be back later in the week to divulge some more of my crochet experimentation - that's a much longer post :D

Happy Monday :)

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

my creative space - working backwards

I'm working backwards on 'my creative space' as I was busy at the 'office job' today, and I'm referring to Tuesday's activites - pheeeeew, isn't life complicated :) On Tuesday I picked these wildflowers along the road side, on my way back from a little trip to Stornoway . . .

. . . technically speaking, that's not quite correct. I went to Stornoway on the bus (I don't drive), saw a lovely exhibition about Harris Tweed in the local art centre, visited the new Haberdashery shop, got my haircut (it took 5 minutes!), came home on the bus. Remembered I'd forgotten to buy something, so then walked to the local village shop about 10 minutes away, walked back - spotted some forget-me-knots in the ditch and picked them, then decided to pick a little bouquet of wild flowers along the roadside 'cos they look really pretty right now :

Here's the yarn I bought in the new haberdashery shop . . .

. . . I'm hoping to crochet some lovely wild-flowers from my crochet book today, with my newly purchased yarn. See, it all links up . . . sort of :)

More creative thinking over this way - I'm heading over there myself :)

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Versatile Blogger

Over the weekend I received a blog award from the lovely Sam over at Knitting Adventures - sorry Sam, I've just started following your blog (although I thought I was already!!). I've been having a 'battle' with Google and Firefox lately which has resulted in all sorts of mishaps and mayhem with my blogging activities - so I'm blaming them for my misdemeanours!! :D

Anyway, please pop over and visit Sam - you never know, she might give you some cake if you're lucky :)

Here’s how the award works:

After accepting the Versatile Blogger Award, the blogger must:

1. Thank the person who gave the award and link back to them in your post.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass this award along to 15 recently discovered blogs.

Seven Things About Me:

1. I'm the youngest of six children - there are only 8 years between the youngest and the oldest (some very intensive child-rearing going on in these early years!)

2. I'm very proud of my Hebridean heritage and culture - that's probably a little obvious - Harris Tweed 'n that :)

3. I was brought up in a Gaelic speaking household but I'm a little rusty at speaking it through lack of practice. I can hold a conversation - just don't ask me anything too complicated!

4. I love handcrafts of all kind - that lovely meditative feeling of sitting down and making something with your hands is such a magical thing - and so global :)

5. One of my favourite flowers are sunflowers - they are so 'in your face', cheerful, zingy and just 'a little mad'!

6. I love Woody Allen movies - just remembered that because 'Broadway Danny Rose' was on the TV last weekend and I could happily have sat down to watch it but was too busy dismantling a bunk-bed :(

7. I broke my arm when I was 10, jumping off a trampoline - it set wrongly and I have a 'squinty' wrist - the only thing it affects is when I try to touch-type - I work part-time in a college office as a typist :) :)

I'm going to cheat here and say that most of the new blogs I find are through My Creative Space which is a great place to find some wonderful crafty peeps! I know that is really naughty of me but I do hope you will check out some of these blogs and perhaps take part - it's a lovely way to make some international bloggie friends :) (every Thursday - make that Wednesday night if you're in the UK!)

Did I get away with that? - edging slowly out of this post :D

Monday, 22 August 2011


I thought my blog post title might attract a few viewings at least - I know, sorry a very cheap gimmick, how could I stoop so low, hehe! Well, at any rate I got quite excited to get some new Japanese printed fabrics today - I wanted some smaller printed cupcake fabric to complement a larger print I purchased recently. I'll use the smaller print for lining and the larger one for an applique design, for making coin zipper pouches - let me at 'em, I'm dying to make these - just got to get the right moment this week :) Here's the lovely aforementioned fabric . . .

. . . just yummy! If I could eat them, I would :D I think they'll go really nicely with the tweed I got before my hols. I try to have some of the herringbone one in stock as I use it for Kindle sleeves, and I've been asked if I still have the gorgeous fuschia pink one a few times, so I thought it was worth the investment - it IS gorgeous!! . . .

The tweeds have been handwoven locally in the village of Ness, which is the northernmost tip of the island (where we went for the Gala day a few weeks back). I always feel really proud to be using locally purchased tweed - it was well worth the investment. One day I'll actually makes some money from my crafting LOL!

Until then I'll happily carry on going round in circles and using my hard earned cash to purchase more fabric and supplies, hehe :) Life could definitely be worse! Anyway, I quite like going round in circles, it's quite fun :) (especially if it means getting my paws on these lovely fabrics!)

I spent most of the weekend poring over my crochet books, and the rest of the time was spent dismantling 'Little S''s bunkbed - so a relaxing yet, productive weekend! Now I've just got to figure out where to put one dismantled wooden bunkbed, which is strewn around the house - there's always a downside to these domestic ventures isn't there :0

. . . quite handy, in the meantime, for resting the weekend's unopened junk mail! Hope there are no unpaid bills in that pile, ooops :) (My extended family will be shaking their heads in horror/disbelief at that pic, LOL!)

Tomorrow, I'm hoping to visit a new Haberdashery shop in the town - possibly to buy some colourful yarn for my crochet? - Oh dear there is NO hope for me - definitely a lost cause, I'll tell you how I get on later in the week. Perhaps I'll manage to resist the urge to purchase?????!!

Till later folks :D

Thursday, 18 August 2011

a walk on the wild side . . .

Not much crafting today - I've just taken a pleasant stroll out the moor track beside my home - lots of activity going on out there though! . . .

He jumped from flower to flower . . .

a little nibble, here and there . . .

You'd think I'd have better things to do with my time than follow bumblebees around :)

The boys are back to school today, so I'm taking a little time to myself, before embarking on a much needed tidy-up, better get bzzzzzzzy!

Monday, 15 August 2011

Crafty Weekend

I managed to squeeze in a couple of crafty projects over the weekend - not quite sure how, ooops - yes I do!, there's a whole pile of laundry still behind me, hehe :) Never mind it's a self-generating pile, which replenishes itself regularly - returning daily like a massive tidal wave - comfortingly reasssuring - NOT!!!! :D

Never mind, domestic duties aside, here's what I was working on - firstly . . .

. . . a little frame coin purse. I can hear you gasp in amazement (or disbelief!!) - yes, I did make it, and it was nowhere as difficult as I thought it would be. I used a pattern/instructions from an old copy of Sew Hip magazine (April 2009) and although I found some of it a little tricky to understand - it worked out OK. I'm going to try and make another one soon and actually document it, as I was so excited trying out this one I had no time to take any pics!

I purchased the frame on E-bay and also the glue - Gutermann HT2. As you can see there are little perforations on the frame for sewing to the purse, but I paid good money for my glue and was determined to use it! True to word, the glue worked very well and seems to have done the job.

I lined the purse in one of my printed cotton/linen fabrics:

A really fun project to do, and not that time consuming - a couple of hours at the most. I promise I will try and repeat the project and show my step to step pics - must order another frame though, this one cost about £2.30 (it's tiny - only 7 cm across, but big enough for a small coin purse).

Next up, my previous pics give a clue - hooray, I managed to make a granny square!!! I feel like I've joined an elite club - finally I've made it, hehe!

Behind it, is one of the crochet books I decided to treat myself for my birthday (which fell on my holiday) - I have to say I was a little disappointed with this book and actually used these two online tutorials to master the square. For the stitches, this one, and for the granny square, this one. The second one is an excerpt from another 'how to crochet' book which is the one I should have purchased, and have now ordered (this is getting expensive, but when you have to teach yourself, there's not much option!). And all roads finally lead to this book, my ultimate goal . . .

. . . Ah, love, love, love this book - the photographs, the colours, the flowers (some lovely wild flower varieties - my favourites). Mariana had kindly e-mailed me an online version earlier this year, but when I saw the hard copy in Waterstones in Edinburgh, the seed was planted - I had to have it! I am one MILLION miles away from making any of the crochet versions, but could probably attempt some of the knitted ones - however I'm obsessed with learning crochet at the moment and loving the fact that I'm learning a totally new craft (it's really quite different from knitting) - I think I've started a long journey, but a really enjoyable one!

The boys are back to school this Thursday so I'll be busy getting them sorted out - back to some more commercial 'tweedie' work too probably, but I've had a lot of fun recently experimenting - I think it's been well worth it :) Back to the laundry now : / Byeeee!

P.S. I will tell you how I get on with the second ' how to crochet' book - fingers crossed with this one!!!

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

my creative space . . . a fishy tale

I happened to come across a newsletter in my 'inbox' this week which gave details about an Arts project in the Skye and Lochalsh area (Inner Hebrides). It was a call to arms as far as I was concerned - it read 'Do you enjoy knitting or sewing? We need your help to make Silver Darlings!' A Silver Darling is of course a herring, which I'm assuming originates from Neil M Gunn's book of the same name - a tale surrounding the Scottish Herring Industry at the beginning of the 20th Century.

Anyway enough history, the newsletter gave details on how to knit your fish, the colour scheme - silver, cream, pale grey, the approx size, 'sequins, beads and bling permitted' - 'have as much fun as possible', it read. Well, I was immediately hooked on the idea but had no idea whether I was eligible or not to enter - so I just did anyway!!

The instructions asked to 'use what you have got or recycle if you can'. I have a ginormoous ball of natural aran wool - so I was all set to go. After I'd knitted up the simple pattern and stuffed the rather odd looking shape I went to town on the decoration and here's my 'Silver Darling':

He was really fun to make - I had a ball adding my vintage lace, sequined lace, embroidery details, ribbon, etc . . .

. . . and of course he had to have a big cheesy grin (in true Tweed Delights style!) . . .

I really have no idea what will become of my little Silver Darling - all the fish will be on exhibition as part of the Bonnie Boat event in Potree on the 10th September, and you could opt to have your fish auctioned to raise funds for the local RNLI, which I was more than happy to do. However, I don't know if the project was open to anyone to enter regardless of geographical location - my Other Half posted him off for me today, so farewell little fishy and I hope they let you join the 'shoal of fish' - he'll be 'gutted' if he's not :/

I'll keep you up to date on his progress (if I ever hear anything) - he may be promptly posted back to me - or perhaps some nice person will buy him. I would love him to be exhibited with the other Silver Darlings in any case, and who knows he may raise some money for charity - farewell little fishy, and Good Luck on your precarious journey :)

More creative tales here :D

Back from the City!

Hello peeps! I've been back to the croft for a few days now - I must have missed my crafting though as I've busy 'making' since my return (more on that later!)

We had a lovely break and really enjoyed our brief stay in Edinburgh. I remember when a city-break used to mean a visit to a few art galleries, going to see the latest movie, perhaps some high street shopping, and if we were feeling really flush - going to see our favourite musician/band in concert - ah, these were the days! Nowadays it means spending two days in an unused quarry watching our offspring climbing to their hearts content . . .

The sole reason of our city break was to take the boys to this fantastic indoor climbing arena, just a few miles from the city-centre. As we knew we'd be visiting the climbing centre over a couple of days we stayed a couple of miles away from it rather than having to travel to and fro from Edinburgh each day - this worked out pretty well, but it was more of an outward bound trip as opposed to a city-break. Well, that's what happens when you have kids I guess!!

The arena is a brilliant place, really quite stunning - it is the largest in the world I'm told - and is built into the side of a disused quarry, hence my earlier comment! People fly in from all over the world to use it and I can see why.

It felt a little like being in a different galaxy (in a nice way!) - had a great cafe, and it was lovely just to wonder around - also a very scenic canal walk into the nearest village of Ratho, which I enjoyed, so something to keep everyone happy :) I didn't do any climbing myself, but I'm quite inspired to give it a try, so . . . next time maybe :D

We did manage to get into the city centre on our last day and visited Waterstones book shop (a must for us book-deprived islanders!) and the Outdoor shop next door - I told you life has changed 'post-children'. I spotted a couple of crafty books I'd had my eye on and ordered them online on my return (sorry Waterstones, oops!!). No, I didn't get to visit Top Shop or visit a nice Gallery, I think that's a different holiday altogether - perhaps I should start planning that one, hehe :D

I've been quite 'crafty' as I mentioned since I got back - must have had withdrawal symptoms!! I have quite an interesting post for 'my creative space' tomorrow, but in the meantime I whipped up a little zipper purse the same size as the one I made myself as I thought it was such a handy size - I've added it here.

See you tomorrow if you're 'around' - Byeeee :D